“For nearly a decade David Cappo has pioneered innovative social justice reforms as South Australia’s Social Inclusion Commissioner. He also served on the Government’s Executive Committee of Cabinet. David Cappo cut through red tape and energized programs to significantly reduce homelessness, improve our school retention rate and deliver massive reforms in the delivery of mental health services. His success in this State saw him appointed as Deputy Chair of the Federal Government’s Social Inclusion Board and he was asked by the Prime Minister to lead mental health reform nationally. David Cappo gets things done. He is our great, practical change agent in social policy who gets real results”.
Hon. Mike Rann, Premier of South Australia and Minister for Social Inclusion, October 2011
“David Cappo has played a leading role in moving social inclusion to the heart of mental health reform in Australia. Building on his work in South Australia, he assumed a position of national leadership in mental health, working tirelessly and effectively for transformational reform. He is committed to a radical holistic approach to mental health care with a strong social justice agenda. In addition to his moral and intellectual leadership, he displays valuable personal and political skills. Today, he is one of Australia's leading social justice thinkers with an ability to translate concepts into the real world of peoples' lives”.
December 2011 Professor Patrick McGorry AO MB BS Phd FRCP FRANZCP Professor, Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Executive Director OYH Research Centre, 2010 Australian of the Year
“David Cappo is a unique force – a word I use advisedly. Absolutely committed to transforming the lives of people without money or power, and absolutely determined to overcome barriers of every kind. He’s the sort of person every government needs to protect against inertia and complacency. Yet his kind is very, very rare”.
December 2011 Geoff Mulgan CBE Chief Executive NESTA UK Former CEO Young Foundation London UK Former Head of Policy Prime Minister’s Office UK
“David Cappo is a social innovator of international standing. His redesign of government services in South Australia produced unprecedented results in homelessness, mental health, re engaging young people with education, and other areas and created new models for innovative practice within government. In our work with the Social Inclusion Unit under his leadership we saw the emergence of a new national standard for addressing homelessness that subsequently spread throughout Australia. His work internationally to identify and adapt social innovations makes him a leading resource for government and social sector leaders”.
December 2011 Rosanne Haggerty Founder of Common Ground USA and International Founder and President Community Solutions USA Thinker in Residence on solutions to homelessness Adelaide 2005
“David Cappo has, in my pretty extensive experience, something close to unique: the moral and spiritual compass and standing to identify and elevate the most important public policy concerns, combined with the political and bureaucratic savvy to provoke and sustain real action. His principle relentlessness both about what is right and about getting real work done makes him a singularly effective change agent. Those dealing with important and intractable problems should draw on his gifts”.
December 2011 David M. Kennedy Director, Centre for Crime Prevention and Control John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York City NY USA